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Senate punts on 'doc fix'; passage expected after spring break

Senate punts on 'doc fix'; passage expected after spring break

By Paul Demko  |  March 27, 2015

There will be no doc fix until at least mid-April. The Senate adjourned for spring break on Friday morning without taking up legislation to permanently repeal Medicare's sustainable growth-rate formula for paying doctors.

Labs that waive patient fees risk kickback violations, OIG says

By Lisa Schencker  |  March 26, 2015

Laboratories that waive some patients' fees as part of agreements with physician practices risk running afoul of the federal anti-kickback statute, HHS' Office of Inspector General said in an advisory opinion released Wednesday.

Lopsided House vote puts pressure on Senate to act on SGR repeal

Lopsided House vote puts pressure on Senate to act on SGR repeal

By Paul Demko  |  March 26, 2015

The overwhelming and bipartisan vote in the House to permanently repeal Medicare's sustainable growth-rate formula puts pressure on the Senate to act before adjourning Friday. But it's not certain that they will given the narrow window.

House votes for permanent doc fix, bill goes to Senate

By John N. Frank , Adam Rubenfire and Paul Demko  |  March 26, 2015

The U.S. House Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favor of scrapping Medicare's sustainable growth-rate formula, passing a permanent doc fix 392-37. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the bill “transformative in how it rewards the value, not the volume.”

CBO's take on doc-fix bill unlikely to derail it

By Paul Demko  |  March 25, 2015

The doc-fix deal would increase the deficit by $141 billion compared with current law over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But spending would be $900 million less over that same period than if Congress simply froze Medicare payment rates for physicians.

SGR replacement would push docs toward value-based pay

SGR replacement would push docs toward value-based pay

By Paul Demko  |  March 25, 2015

If Congress passes a permanent fix for Medicare's sustainable growth-rate formula this week, its replacement would be a two-tiered payment system that rewards adoption of new payment models.

HHS enlists big healthcare names in payment reform bid

By Virgil Dickson  |  March 25, 2015

Dignity Health, Rite Aid and Cigna are among the healthcare heavyweights that have joined an HHS network convened to help the CMS tie 30% of Medicare payments to alternative payment models by the end of 2016.

Medicare panel voices doubts about genetic cancer tests

By Virgil Dickson  |  March 24, 2015

The Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) has expressed little confidence in genetic tests that supposedly predict common cancers. The decision raises doubts about whether the CMS will authorize Medicare coverage for such tests.

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